What’s going on here?
The legal industry is on the cusp of major transformation with algorithms that will automate lawyers' work.
What does this mean?
Fewer lawyers may be required in the future as software simplifies and reduces the burden of legal work. But as the role of the lawyer changes, the curriculum taught to students needs to keep up.
Some Law schools have already adapted by introducing tech into their curriculum. In 2015, Melbourne Law School began an elective module called ‘Law Apps’ to allow students learn how artificial intelligence (or "AI") can resolve typical legal problems.
Why should firms care?
Law firms are always looking to satisfy a growing demand for alternative and cheaper legal services.
LawGeex is an example of a growing artificial intelligence platform that reviews a diverse range of business contracts. It helps businesses save 80% of their time reviewing and approving contracts.
A pioneer in the US legal market is IBM’s innovation, ‘ROSS’. When finding relevant passages of law, it has the capacity to do the equivalent work of twenty associates! These innovations can have the effect of creating a levelled-playing field between firms. It alters the conception that a successful litigant must have the deepest pockets. In 2016, US firm, Baker Hostetler used the ROSS system to assist in its bankruptcy practice. This was the first firm to announce an AI based service.
The rise of AI means that the traditional legal sector is on the edge of unprecedented transformation. Though in its early stages, it is potentially disruptive to the legal market once integrated correctly. The human, service element and expertise of a lawyer is unlikely to be replaced by a machine. However, eventually, the scope of a lawyer’s work will certainly be reoriented. The only question now is: How long will it take?
Article written by Gerald K.
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